Genetics is the branch of biology and it is the science of heredity and variation in living organisms. It was presumed since a long time that living beings inherit traits from their parents. However, the modern science of genetics, which seeks to understand the process of inheritance, began with the work of Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century.
Genes correspond to regions within DNA, a molecule composed of a chain of nucleotides. The sequence of these nucleotides is the genetic information which the organism inherits. DNA occurs in a double stranded form, with nucleotides on each strand complementary to each other. Each strand can act as a template for creating a new partner strand—this is the physical method for making copies of genes that can be inherited. At its most fundamental level, inheritance in the organism occurs by means of discrete traits, called genes.
The constitutional approach
Homoeopathy upholds that every person is born with a specific constitution, which he inherits from his previous generation. This constitution determines what kind of deviations or diseases a person is predisposed to developing, and how that person reacts to the deviations.
The idea of constitution or temperament is not exclusive to homoeopathy. Sanguine, phlegmatic and bilious temperaments depending on Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile (or Black Bile), the four elements of Greek medicine are known since Medieval times. As modern Western medicine evolved, the emphasis switched from the constitutional approach to the germ theory of disease, organ-based dysfunction, pharmacology and laboratory tests to investigate from the cellular angle. In this journey, however, a human being with his totality is sidelined and broken down into smaller and smaller areas of treatment. The domination by the reductionist approach is a major concern.
The homoeopathic approach of evaluating the sick individual in terms of his constitution is central to treating the patient as a whole. The constitution is the result of genetic and environmental factors. There is programming, there is assimilation and even in transmission there is filtration. It includes the mind and the body together as a unit and not in separation. The homoeopathic constitutional approach proposes a disease as arising out of the whole physiological and psychological life of a human being. It investigates the individual as one single spectrum. It includes genetics, heredity, growth, morphological typology, archetypes etc. This approach is like the Gestalt psychology – theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel and analog, with self-organizing tendencies. The homoeopathic constitutional approach conforms to the teaching of Osler to ” Look at life as a whole: study its manifestations in order and disorder, in health and disease.”
By integrating the trinity of form, function and structure of the various systems which the constitution possesses, the multi-dimensional study of sickness and personality of the individual is obtained in homoeopathy. Such a study broadens the knowledge in terms of relation between the individual as a biological unit with its instincts, emotions and behavior and the role played by the environment – the stress which environment exerts upon his organs, systems and personality. This is an integrated study of nature and nurture. The ongoing dynamic interaction between these two in terms of the delicate balance of homoeostasis as a fundamental urge of the system and the shift that occurs due to failure of an organism as a part of miasmatic activity are all matters of serious study.
Diagnosing the constitution and paying attention to the warning signals in the form of feelings, sensations, subjective and objective symptoms, modalities, body language and pathological changes through different stages will go a long way in preplanning the strategies and providing the preventive line of management.
The influence of history
The data bank that homoeopathic physicians possess in terms of family history of the patient is huge and the physicians should utilize this data for diagnosing the fundamental miasm which is inherited by the patient from the previous generation. This data should be standardized on the mass scale level and should be scrutinized properly for the sake of statistical and scientific research. This will pave the way for developing the protocol to anticipate the phases and transitions which occur as a process of evolution of disease and then to act on a preventive line of management during the state of pregnancy and subsequently in the onward march of life. The appraisal of the dominant miasm in terms of its behavior and influence will be better understood once we know the base. The faculty of genetics is not different from what homoeopathy propounds.
The maternal stress during pregnancy has a definitive influence over the fetus and there is scope of homoeopathy to do some research.
Living Materia Medica
Homoeopathic materia medica, a product of highest wisdom, is the most beneficial, fascinating and comprehensive study of human beings. Through the process of proving on healthy human beings, Hahnemann tried to perceive the pathogenetic action of the remedy at the human level, synchronizing mind, body, and spirit.
The vastness of materia medica encompasses the study of a human being in totality and integrates the study of perceiving the man in all the possible fields, ramifications and angles. Each remedy is a collection of hundreds and thousands of symptoms and there are thousands of remedies which, if taken together, represent the huge gamut of human suffering. Perceiving each polychrest homoeopathic remedy through practical implementation and its utility with the enormous field of symptoms at emotional, intellectual and physical levels, personifies each one as a ‘living’ human being. This is the concept of ‘living’ materia medica. The remedy talks, vibrates, throbs and shows all human emotions.
Relationship of remedies
Remedy relationship is nothing but the various relations that are shared between remedies in many aspects, facets, dimensions, levels, phases and sectors.
Assigning the status of a living human being to a remedy opens up new vistas. In the way we understand our family members and our friends, in terms of their relations, their ancestors, their children’s characters etc., we should understand our remedies.
The selection of a simillimum is often difficult in cases of children due to one sided cases and less or even absence of subjective symptoms. The objective symptoms need an observant eye and sometimes it is difficult to interpret them. In such cases the prescribing method of finding the constitutional remedy of the parents and using it for the children may be rewarding. As a counterpart of it, we can apply the theme of biological relations or ‘parents and child’ from a materia medica point of view.
The cation and anion in homoeopathic materia medica can be studied from characters of relatives of a previous generation. Many times it is observed that a child carries forward the characters of both parents and shows the radical. It is to be observed to what extent the child manifests the characters. In many cases, as the child matures itself in the process of ego functioning and assumes an independent entity, the retaining process is diminished.
The following examples are borne out of our clinical experience. The readers are advised to ponder over the sentences and find out the meaning behind them.
1. “Arg-n. is an offspring of Medorrhinum and Sulph.”
The reasons for understanding the above statement: See the marked resemblances between Arg-nit, Med and Sulph.
- Acts on nerves-solar plexus, neuro-musculature, glands and liver.
- Hurried, time passes too slowly. Nervous, restless and tense. Confused.
- Impatient, insanity, irritable, selfish, forgetful.
- Anxious, panicky, anticipatory anxiety, hallucination about things, timid.
- Fear of night, darkness, evil, insanity, misfortune.
- Subsequent depressions, attacks of desentio, black out, vanishing of senses, loss of personal identity.
- Pale, puny, scrawny, dwarfed.
- Fits at every menstrual period.
- Craving-sweets, salt, stimulants.
- < heat of sun, room, wet or dry weather, sleep: during and after, emotions – bad news, sweets.
- > open air.
- Warm-blooded constitution.
- A/F suppressed catarrhs and eruptions.
- Burning – palms and soles. Restless legs at night.
- Offensive, purulent discharges.
- Too light, frequent waking, frightful and agitated sleep.
- Defective assimilation, hungry yet emaciated, old looking.
- < sweets, night, alcohol, becoming heated, looking down.
- > open air, motion, walking.
- Mind, nutrition, absorption, GIT, respiratory tract, nerves, solar plexus, blood, glands and skin etc. Left side.
- Nervous, Quick-tempered, forgetful, selfish, irritable, depressed, impatient about trifles, quarrelsome.
- Impulsive tendency to suicide by drowning or jumping from window.
- Anxiety – prevents sleep, from pressure on chest, waking at night, about friends.
- Fear – ghost, poverty, robbers, starving.
To further understand this relation, the following three statements are to be understood.
- Arg-n. is an intensified, sycotic sulph.
- Medorrhinum is a sycotic and intensified sulph.
- Hence Arg-nit. is an intensified, Sycotic Med.
Sulph. may be useful after Medorrhinum Medorrhinum is (like X-ray) a sycotic and intensified Sulph. because they share warm bloodedness; burning of palms and soles; restless legs in bed; wants sweets; ailments from suppressed catarrhs and eruptions.
Medorrhinum is tense, has anticipatory anxiety and panic, and it also has craving for sweets and salt and also warm bloodedness like Arg-nit.
See that Arg-nit. covers core elements of both Med. and Sulph. Hence, the concept of Arg-nit. as an offspring of Medorrhinum (as a father) and Sulph. (as a mother) has been evolved and presented.
2. “Father Ambra grisea , mother Natrum mur and daughter Ignatia.”
Both Ambr. and Ign. are like funeral remedies. They share the mental archetypes in a similar way. Both are melancholic, delicate in feelings and structure, hysterical and dreamy. Both are sensitive but lack in perseverance due to low energy level. Bashfulness and introversion withdraws themselves from the mundane activities in the long run.
However, Ign. is indicated more for the children and adolescence group and Ambr. for the senile people. To instance, puberty is the most crucial period for the Ign. girl (even for a boy), while Ambr. is indicated more for senile people.
The clinical experience suggests that the daughter as Ign. has for parents: father Ambr. and mother Nat-m. Many Ign. daughters also show evolution from Ign. to Nat-m. and then to Ambr. Remember also that Children of Ign. mother may require Nat-m.
3. Son of Medorrhinum may require Thyroidinum.
4. Medorrhinum, Natrum mur. and Tarent. are ‘parent and child’. If one is needed for P. same or others may be needed for C. So are Mercurius, Natrum mur. and Tarent.
5. Fluoric acid is the son of Sulphur (father) and Silica (mother).
6. Lachesis as a father and Stramonium as a mother often beget an Agaricus child.
7. Pulsatilla mother and Lycopodium father beget Conium child.
8. Platina may be the offspring of Veratrum album as father and Lycopodium as mother.
9. The zygote formed of male Sulphur and female Calcarea may be Graphites.
10. If the constitutional remedies of father and mother are Kali carb and Psorinum, the child may resemble Kali silicata.
Homoeopathy opens up many avenues of prescribing methods and in order to select a homoeopathic remedy, we need adequate and accurate data. In many cases, especially the pediatric ones, we don’t get the required data. By using the relations of remedies through the inherited characters and by studying the remedies as living human beings with their stages and transitions, a practical tool can be developed to help our otherwise difficult and unresolved cases.